Image courtesy of Apptentive.com
The online dating scene has pretty much existed since the dawn of the internet. However through the rise of a techno-sexual era, a new game-changing app Tinder, ‘has taken this a step further by making casual dating a perfectly acceptable thing to do whether you’re short of time or not – dating to kill time’ (Strimpel 2015). Accumulating an estimated 50 million users since its launch in September 2012, with up to 26 million matches and 1.4 billion swipes activated daily (Smith 2016). Slowly reconstructing the way young millennials date and perceive love through the realms of online dating world.
The rise of the dating app Tinder ‘has shifted feelings about mediated dating’, as more young people within their late twenties are becoming enticed to give online dating a go. As the convenience of mobile devices, enable individuals to seamlessly be connected with other potential matches through the simple swipe of finger, ‘bridging the gap between digital and physical dating’ (Strimpel 2015). The app itself encourages individuals to experience a sense of instant gratification, as Tinder app uses are spoiled for choice when it comes to the constant flow and abundance of potential dating matches. Marketing Tinder as an appealing causal and fun dating app, predominately taking the seriousness out of long-term relationships into more short-term dating options.
Within Strimpel’s article, I really admire how she labels the digital realm of online dating, almost like a ‘lonely pursuit’ mediated by technology. Where she makes reference to the lyrics from Kate Bush’s song, Deeper Understanding (1989):
‘As the people here grow colder
I turn to my computer
And spend my evenings with it
Like a friend … well I’ve never felt such pleasure
I was lonely, I was lost without my little black box.’(Strimpel 2015).
This idea of a ‘little black box’ is still very evident in today’s society, where people can’t spare a moment without being connected through their mobile devices. Interestingly enough Vanity’s Fair’s article on Tinder labels the app itself as the dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”. Delving into the insight of how users online are basing first impressions of individuals by “forming your connection with their profile” (Sales 2015), rather than the traditional face-to-face meet up. As well as the decrease in social activity, moving from the typical guy meets girl at bar scenario, using what Vanity Fair’s article describes as having an everyday “hand held singles club”(Sales 2015) mobile device. To having access to an unlimited amount of dating matches from the private comfort of your own home, without the need of socialising or spending money on expensive drinks.
To conclude, Tinder is revolutionising the way individuals perceive and pursue love through online digital technologies. Definitely shifting society’s acceptance for more short-term dating options, rather than pursuing more cliched romantic relationships. However, it does make me question whether this sense of ‘instant gratification’ curated by our mobile devices, is worth the depletion of more meaningful and innate human connections once established through more traditional forms of dating. Or are people happy with finding comfort from the warmth and glow of our mobile screens which are only a swipe away?
Sales, N, J. 2015, ‘Tinder and the dawn of the “dating apocalypse”’, Vanity Fair, viewed 2 September 2016, < http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-culture-end-of-dating >.
Smith, C. 2016, ‘By the numbers: 41 impressive tinder statistics’, Expanded Ramblings, 1 October, viewed 1 September 2016, <http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/tinder-statistics/ >.
Strimpel, Z. 2015, ‘Online dating has become a hobby, one that is often not even that fun’, The Conversation, 23 December, viewed 1 September 2016,<https://theconversation.com/online-dating-has-become-a-hobby-one-that-is-often-not-even-that-fun-51515 >.
You had me at #swipe right: what Tinder can teach us about app engagement, Apptentive Blog, 2015, viewed 2 September 2016, <https://www.apptentive.com/blog/2015/02/13/what-tinder-can-teach-us-about-app-engagement/ >.